- AFL-CIO found that more than 4,820 workers were killed on the job in 2014, with an additional 50,000-60,000 workers whose deaths were caused by occupational diseases. The labor union says that those numbers translate into a daily loss of nearly 150 workers from "preventable workplace injuries and illnesses."
- The report, "Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect," which has been published for the past 25 years, also found an increase of fatalities among older workers. It ranked Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota and Mississippi as the states with the highest mortality rates.
- In 2014, 804 Latino workers died on the job. Latino worker fatality rate remains higher than the national rate. Workplace violence injuries, particularly among women workers in health care, remains a serious issue, as the workplace violence injury rate has increased by 60% over the past five years.
According to the AFL-CIO, government job safety and health condition oversight is weak and getting worse in some instances. For example, in 1992, OSHA could inspect a workplace on average once every 84 years, but today that number is 145 years. Also, serious violations last year drew only an average penalty of $2,148, while the median penalty for worker deaths was just $7,000.
“Working people should not have to risk their lives to make a living and support their families,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in a statement. “Yet every day, millions of Americans are forced to work with little to no safety protections while big businesses and corporations profit off our lives.”
Trumka said his union has made "important progress," mentioning new OSHA silica standards to protect workers from deadly dust. But, he added, the report shows that too many employers are still cutting corners and workers are paying the highest price. "We must keep working for stronger laws and enforcement to hold employers accountable, until all working people are safe on the job.” Trumka said.